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Gate 300 in-process

Gate 300 (unfinished)

Nov 2021 - Mar 2022

In collaboration with the 300-year-old Bodhi of Văn Miếu

Embroidery with found leaf skeleton, monofilament yarn.

300 x 400 cm

Temple of Literature: Văn Miếu - Quốc Tử Giám

Photos and videos by Hang Nguyen

In a testament to the profound impact of time, GATE 300 emerged as a tribute to the rich history and dynamic transformation of the oldest university. This leaf-skeletons-installation was born from the opportunity granted by the absence of tourists for nearly two years, allowing the 300-year-old Bodhi tree to experience the changing seasons in solitude. Its leaves gracefully descended to the ground, transforming into intricate skeletons, adorned in myriad shades of brown. ​


Adjacent to this venerable tree stands the Khue Van Cac - Constellation of Literature pavilion, crowned by open-air circles atop its structure. These symbolic hollow circles represent the boundless path of knowledge, free from constraints and open to diverse origins. ​


Inspired by the significance of this historic site, I crafted a circular gate using the delicate leaf skeletons from the Bodhi tree itself, an entity that has undoubtedly borne witness to the sweeping transitions of the past three centuries. This gate beckons all to explore the potent heritage of the university, originally conceived as a sanctuary of learning and personal growth for Vietnamese students. ​


Yet, as the main gate opened to welcome the public, my gate remained unfinished, silently awaiting its unveiling. The very gate that had absorbed months of careful effort, collecting and embroidering leaf skeletons in unison with the Bodhi tree, was taken down prematurely, eclipsed by the bustling arrival of humanity. The rush of eager visitors, long overdue in fulfilling their everyday routines, swarmed in, capturing moments, exercising, and engaging in prayer within the temple's embrace. ​


This bittersweet culmination underscores the cyclical nature of change, a reminder that time, history, and human experience converge within the spaces we inhabit and the stories they carry.

Leaf skeletons embroidery in details